Movie Reviews

Black Swan (2010)

black-swan-movie-review-2010-posterDirector: Darren Aronofsky

Genre: Drama, Thriller, Horror

Runtime: 108 Minutes

Main Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder, Benjamin Millepied, Ksenia Solo, Sebastian Stan

Plot: Nina is a young, talented ballerina who finds herself fighting for the position of the Swan Queen in her company’s latest production. She is pushed back initially for not being able to embody the Black Swan as well as the White Swan, but as she strives for perfection, her mental state suffers.

My Thoughts: My youngest brother is a huge fan of twisty movies like Inception, Shutter Island and Memento. Can you imagine my frustration when he refuses to watch Fight Club because “I don’t want to watch a movie about boxing”?! I think he’s avoiding it on purpose now, the argument has gone on for years. Anyway…I guess in a way I’m guilty of the same, I’ve avoided Black Swan because I’m not really a fan of ballet.

Yes, there is a lot of ballet in this movie. There is some incredible dancing, as well as some shots of the dancer’s injured feet that made me cringe – but it’s not surprising with how much time these talented people spend on their toes. Black Swan is so much more than this though, it’s the story of a beautiful, shy girl’s descent into madness, and it’s such a thrilling ride. I’ve seen criminally little of Natalie Portman’s work so I’m open to suggestions of where to turn next, and this is also the first serious role of Mila Kunis’ I’ve seen, she was brilliant too.

10 years later, I think I might be the only person who hasn’t seen this movie yet, but on the rare chance you haven’t, definitely add this to your watch list. It’s slow in places but the payoff is so worth it. Whilst you’re at it, help me convince my brother to watch Fight Club. When I tell him it isn’t about boxing, he says “what is it about then?” and looks less than impressed when I tell him the first rule of Fight Club.

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Best Bit: The ending was so wild. I won’t spoil anything of course but the last 10 minutes are adrenaline-fuelled and you find yourself needing to know if what you just saw was real. You do find out – and bam, what a final shot. Just stunning.

Worst Bit: It’s been 10 years and we don’t have a spin-off movie about what happened to Winona Ryder’s character? Come on Hollywood, sort it out!

Fun Trivia: Natalie Portman met her future husband, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, on the set of this film. Portman herself pointed out the irony that his character in the film scoffs when asked if he’d have sex with Nina, and joked that obviously, he was a good actor.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 of the comfiest-looking slipper boots that I just want to hand out to everyone in this movie.

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TV Shows

Stranger Things: Season 3

I’m so late to this party that not only has everyone left, but the place has been cleaned, tidied, and prepared for the next party! I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to watch Season 3 of Stranger Things but after watching episode 7 last night, I had to put the finale on straight after. I have so many feelings! Major spoilers ahead…

Although I liked Season 1, I wasn’t raving about it. Season 2, however, hooked me from the very first episode, I just loved seeing the cast grow up! Steve went from being my most hated character to favourite, and there were so many iconic scenes. I liked the start of Season 3 for the lighter moments like Daddy Hopper, and Max and El going shopping at the mall. It just felt like it took too long for the monster story to kick in, and I guess that’s why I didn’t race my way through the episodes.

Iconic is the best word I can think of to describe this season. From the Scoops Ahoy uniform, to Alexei and his Slurpee, Hopper’s beloved car, Joyce and her magnets, Erica just…being Erica, to the John Wick style shootout at the fair, there were just so many great moments to remember.

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And oh boy, what a whirlwind of a finale. The joy we all felt when Alexei won that Woody Woodpecker only to be distraught when he got shot down moments later. Wondering whether Joyce and Hopper might actually get together only to have him ripped away from us. And then, just when everything feels like doom and gloom…Dusty Bun & Suzie Poo save us all with their rendition of The Neverending Story. I’m going to go out there and say it – that scene was the greatest bit of TV I’ve ever seen.

Also, I know how it seems like a silly and small thing to focus on, but I loved how Steve & Robyn’s story ended with them becoming just good friends, after the revelation that Robyn reveals. It was such a surprise, and as much as I was hoping they would be a couple at the end, the reality was actually more satisfying!

Some characters I felt got pushed aside slightly this time. I loved Nancy and Jonathan in Season 2 but they felt completely wasted this time around. I’m not sure how much longer this show can continue without getting a little tired and repetitive, but I’m definitely in for Season 4!

Movie Reviews

Destination Wedding (2018)

destination-wedding-2018-movie-posterDirector: Victor Levin

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Runtime: 87 Minutes

Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, DJ Dallenbach, Ted Dubost, D. Rosh Wright, Greg Lucey

Plot: Frank and Lindsay are two miserable people who first meet at the airport on their way to a destination wedding, that neither of them actually want to be at. They instantly dislike each other, but fate seems to have brought them together.

My Thoughts: Oh, here we go. John Wick: Chapter 3 has brought on a Keanu Reeves obsession, and for the foreseeable future I’m now going to be watching as many of his movies as possible, good or bad. I’m actually watching Knock Knock whilst writing this so yeah, the fever has set in. Send help. Or don’t. Just send recommendations. So I’m a little in love with Keanu, and I’m a long time lover of romcoms, so Destination Wedding was an easy place to start.

I’ve always loved the whole enemies to lovers kind of plot, so the movie didn’t disappoint on that front. In fact, the entire movie consists of Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves bickering and throwing sassy remarks back and forth, and I was loving it. There’s not really much else to the movie, and my husband claimed it was rubbish – although he watched pretty much the whole thing so he was definitely lying.

Can we get another Ryder/Reeves romcom please, movie gods? Just one with an actual plot and some side characters next time? There really isn’t much to this movie at all – but it’s short and there are much worse ways to spend an hour and a half. (Like watching Knock Knock, probably. I can already tell this is going to be a trash movie).

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Best Bit: I could fill an entire post with quotes from the movie but the bickering is the funniest I think I’ve ever seen in a movie. What’s worse than being stuck with your most unflattering pyjamas when spending the night with Keanu Reeves? Having Keanu Reeves insult you twice for it!

Worst Bit: That was literally the most uncomfortable and awkward sex scene I’ve ever watched – hilarious, but so damn cringy!

Fun Trivia: While promoting this film, Winona Ryder claimed that her and Keanu Reeves might actually have been married to each other in real life when they filmed the marriage scene in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) because a real Romanian Orthodox priest was used. Francis Ford Coppola, who directed that film, agreed that this could be true.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 mountain lions. Or was it a lynx? Leopard? Who knows – it’s no match for Keanu, anyway!

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